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Comic books, action figures and more available at Vintage Toy Auction in Brasher Center


BRASHER CENTER - Fans of the Star Wars franchise, old super hero TV shows, or those just looking for a stroll down memory lane are some of the possible bidders that will be represented in a vintage toy auction today in Brasher Center.

The majority of items up for bid are from a childhood collection of an Albany man, and the auction will take place at the River Rock Auctions auction hall on Munson Road.

“A gentleman out of Albany decided to sell his collection. He decided that they wouldn’t be something his kids would be interested in. They are not toys you want to play with. He said he could sell them and use the money for his children’s school funds later,” River Rock Auctions owner Arno Lippassaar said.

Interested buyers were invited for a sneak peek at the various toys Friday night, and the auction itself begins at 10 a.m. today.

“(There are) a lot of the early Star Wars action figures from the ‘70s and early ‘80s and then they also go through the ‘90s. Most of the (items) that we have are in their original packaging so that makes them more valuable. It’s the same with the GI Joes. We do have an original mid-’70s GI Joe talking doll,” Mr. Lippassaar said. “We did get some 10 cent comics from other places, such as really early Superman and Batman ones and also Green Lantern number one. We have thousands of comics.

“On top of that we have a small collection of Star Trek toys. There are the ceramic figures. We have some signed artwork from Star Trek and autographed photos from Williams Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.”

The items will also include Hot Wheels cars, Tonka Trucks and super hero cookie jars. In addition, for those still reminiscing about the days of Mickey Mantle, Fran Tarkenton and Walt Frazier, a small sports card collection will also be available.

Mr. Lippassaar explained that he could not project an exact range for how much the items might fetch. “It’s hard to say a price range, but we probably have about 400 to 500 items. With this market, we don’t know what they will go for,” he said,

The owner, who has run the auction hall with his wife, son and two stepsons for 2 1/2 years, lives in Louisville. He said that while the event brings a lot of out-of-towners, St. Lawrence County also has its fair share of vintage toy collectors.

“There’s a lot of interest. We take absentee bids from out of the area, and we’ve been getting phone calls from across the country in Missouri, Arizona and also New York City from people who are interested,” Mr. Lippassaar said. “When we have this auction we always have a loyal fan base in this area too. We’re definitely trying to put Brasher on the map in the north country.”

The auction hall is currently expanding, and the owner said that it is in part due to the buyers. “We’ve been very humbled by how well the people treat us around here,” he said.

With Christmas and Hanukkah fast approaching, Mr. Lippassaar said the timing of the vintage toy auction was no coincidence.

“I knew about the toys for the past few months but thought it was smarter to hold the auction now. I think it is hard to shop for older people. To buy something from somebody’s past, it brings back a lot of memories for people. It is a special, unique gift and gets people in the Christmas spirit,” he said. “People tell me, ‘I used to have so and so,’ and I tell them, ‘You can own it again.’”

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